The author is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.
Thanks to Republicans who signed Grover Norquist’s pledge never to raise taxes, your taxes are automatically scheduled to go up in January — unless you are a plutocrat.
The law that created the congressional super committee set a target of this week for reducing budget deficits. The committee failed to meet the target.
Republican members were willing to cut programs that benefit millions, but they would not raise taxes on the hundreds of thousands of families whose annual income is in the millions and, in a few cases, billions of dollars.
So barring a mad scramble to pass new laws in the next six weeks, workers will pay around $110 billion more in payroll taxes next year and they will not get a $55 billion tax cut proposed two months ago by President Barack Obama. Absent another last-minute fix, more than 22 million families will be required to pay higher income taxes due to the Alternative Minimum Tax, some only because a parent or child has cancer or some other costly medical need.
How can that be? Isn’t the pledge of Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform an ironclad vow never to raise any taxes anywhere anytime?